Monday, January 18, 2010

Village Leaders can Demand Documents - Monday, January 18, 2010

VILLAGE headmen can demand for documentation from any foreign vessel within its fishing grounds, says the Director for Immigration, Major Nemani Vuniwaqa.

This was in response to concerns raised by Partners in Community Development Fiji executive director Alisi Daurewa.

"So far we have not received any incident report and that all yachts have so far been complying with our entry requirements," Major Vuniwaqa said.

"As a pro-active measure police officers based in the outlying islands had undergone an awareness raising workshop last year to empower them in inspecting the immigration status of any foreign vessel seen within the vicinity of their jurisdiction.

"However, if ever it becomes a dramatic problem, a community approach through awareness raising programs and also the empowerment of village headman, (which) used to be the case and is still relevant, to demand and inspect relevant clearance documents from any foreign vessel within its fishing grounds (will be applied)."

Major Vuniwaqa said the entry of yachts and boats to islands without proper authorisation was a serious border control issue.

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